Remembering the Father of a Friend; Honoring the One Who will wipe away our tears

NOTE: On April 20, Patrick B. McGuigan participated in an Oklahoma City tribute to a Kashmiri physician who recently passed away. The event, sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, was entitled “A Life’s Purpose: Interfaith Dialogue and the Memory of  Dr. Mohammad Ali Matto.” McGuigan joined with members of the Alliance at the request of Dr. Matto’s daughter, Nyla Ali Khan. The brief reflection and prayer which follows is adapted from McGuigan’s remarks. 

I address you from my heart, which is rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. 

I speak for my friend Nyla Ali Khan, a wonderful writer it is my privilege to work with as an editor. I hope these words provide comfort and assurance for all who hear me. I honor her dear father, of blessed memory.

My favorite writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in the novel ‘Cancer Ward’: “The meaning of existence [is] to preserve untarnished, undisturbed and undistorted the image of eternity which each person is born with.  … Like a silver moon in a calm, still pond.” 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructed his disciples, “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” [Mt. 5:44-45]

In the Book of Revelation [Chapter 21], my Lord’s disciple John foresaw a time when God’s dwelling would be with the human race: “He will dwell with them and they will be His people and God Himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” 

I yearn for that happy day when God will lead us “to springs of life-giving water,” and indeed when He “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes.” [Rev. 7:17]

My prayer now is to the God of All humanity, the One who created us all. 
It is for Nyla and for us all in these times and in all the days to come: comfort, care, understanding, compassion, decency, and righteousness. 

I pray in His Holy Name.  Amen. 

Endnote: Sketches about Dr. Matto’s life can be read in Dr. Nyla’s tributes to his memory, “Abba’s Dedication, and the Gift of a Fine Suit” 
( and “Honoring My Father: Finding Meaning and Purpose in Adversity”  (